Human activities have greatly increased nitrogen emissions and deposition across large areas of Earth. Although nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth, too much nitrogen in excess of critical loads leads to losses of biodiversity, soil and stream acidification, nutrient imbalances, and other deleterious effects. In a new report quantifying critical loads of nitrogen deposition across the United States, USGS scientist Steve Perakis and co-authors provided a chapter about responses of marine west coast forests. Much of this region is understudied with respect to nitrogen deposition, and in this chapter the authors identify known adverse effects and estimate critical loads of nitrogen deposition for western Oregon and Washington and southeast Alaska forests. Perakis also contributed to the synthesis chapter, which includes background, objectives, advantages and uncertainties of critical loads, an overview of critical loads across U.S. ecoregions, and other topics.